I can sense that World Cup fever is subsiding: once the US was eliminated, World Cup stories fell from prominance on ESPN’s website. Goals no longer result in the disabling of Twitter. As the field dwindles, only the hard core fans remain.
Yet as the games continue, I had this realization – the things that go on in the World Cup are eerily similar to the things that go on in my house on a daily basis:
1) Mom pours glasses of chocolate milk for everyone and announces they are ready. Kids are coming at the kitchen from every angle (corner kick). Cade reaches out and impedes the progress of his sister (she exaggerates the contact and lies on the ground, her face a silent scream, as if her wind pipe has been ripped from her neck). Obstruction! Yellow Card!
2) Abra, two years old and still in diapers, says she has to go potty! She leaps over her brother, dashes back and forth to avoid toys, slips sideways into the bathroom, sits on the potty, and (kerplunk) . . . GOALLLLLLLLL!
3) Sam, age 1, sneaks into the bathroom and is about to grab the toilet brush. Mom (line judge) raises her hand (flag), shouts and stops everything. Offside! The opposition breathes a sigh of relief. Calamity was averted.
4) Lucy trips Cade. He collapses to the ground in anguish, rolling around and clutching his surely shattered ankle. Mom raises her finger and sends Lucy to her room (red card). Cade impishly grins and, after shaking his head as if to regain his senses, walks away while limping on the wrong foot, obviously unscathed. Cries of injustice reverberate around the world.
5) Dad arrives home in the 90th minute. Mom gestures toward the sideline with her hand, her head bent down in exhaustion. Dad runs back and forth a few times, gets rid of the crick in his neck, stretches his quads, and jogs in to the living room as an extra-time substitution. Mom retreats to the bedroom (bench) for a 20 minute nap.
6) The kids know they are winning so they waste time. But I’m still hungry! But we didn’t read a story tonight! But I’m thirsty! Dad (the opposition) runs around the field, chasing the game, as the kids one-touch pass around him. Then mom (referee) emerges from the bedroom and says firmly, “Go to bed.” The game is over. Everyone shakes hands. The kids laugh and go to bed. Dad (the losing team) sits on the sofa and hangs his head. “You’ll do better tomorrow night,” the official (mom) assures him.